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Unread 07-29-2003, 11:10 PM   #1
SusieM
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Tiling over red brick fireplace

We have red brick fireplaces in both the living and family rooms of our house. I'd like to tile over them with some type of tile...maybe a polished porcelain or granite. Question is what needs to be done to install tile over the brick? The brick is regular smooth red brick in excellent condition. I've read a bit on the web, talked to a few DIYers, etc. and they all have a different way of doing it. Some say to remove the brick completely (I'd rather not to that since we just finished tiling the entire floor and the grout butts up against the brick on the floor). Some say to mortar directly over the brick to level it out , let dry, and apply thinset and then tile. Some say that since the brick is relatively smooth and level already with the cement grout lines the only place that's not flat, to just keep the brick well watered and use thinset, smooth it out flat all over and then apply the tile. Any suggestions as to which is the best way? Any particular type of tile that needs to be used since it's on the front of the fireplace which will be getting lots of heat?

As always, all ideas/help appreciated!
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Unread 07-30-2003, 06:08 AM   #2
John Bridge
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Susie,

I think you're a candidate for the third method. Just make sure the brick is clean and bond the tiles directly to it with thin set.
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Unread 09-14-2003, 09:48 PM   #3
SusieM
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tiling over red brick fireplace

We're having the same tilesetters tile over our brick fireplace that tiled our entire house floors and built our beauuuutifully tiled shower. We had thought it to be simple enough...simply mortar over the brick to make a smooth surface, or thinset over it and install the tile. Our tilesetters though, say no...it'll need a "slip sheet" (whatever that is!) installed first to avoid any cracking of tiles since it's over brick. Says he's done several and those that have not had the slip sheet have cracked tiles a year or so later in most all cases. He's the only one that has said it's needed.

Since tomorrow's the day we need to get the material, including a slip sheet (what is this anyway and does HD have it?), I was wondering....does anyone else agree that this is a necessity? It adds about $250 to the price of materials and I'm wondering why no one else has said it's needed. Anyone have any idea?

Thanks for your help!
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Unread 09-14-2003, 10:25 PM   #4
cx
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Not sure what he means in this application, Susie. Perhaps he intends to thinset an anti-fracture or cleavage membrane over the brick surface. I suppose it couldn't hurt, but I've not heard anyone else report any problems with such tile installations without any such precautions.

Problem is, if you tell him you don't want him to install it that way and the tile cracks, he's certainly not gonna come back and fix it.

So, I guess the question becomes one of your willingness to pay an extra $250 for a warranty.

And you say that's the extra cost for only the material? Let's find out exactly what he wants to do, first.
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Unread 09-15-2003, 04:32 PM   #5
John Bridge
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Susie,

I'm a little reluctant to second guess the guy without really knowing what he intends to do. I quite frankly can't understand how he intends to install a slip sheet (cleavage membrane) over raw bricks. And another thing, we use tar paper and plastic sheeting for slip sheets. I'm afraid we don't have enough info to give you an answer.

I stand on my previous post, though. I've never had problems going over a brick wall.
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Unread 09-15-2003, 06:54 PM   #6
SusieM
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Thanks much cx and John. What he said he'd do is install the membrane then thinset and tile. After having done several without the membrane and winding up with cracked tiles, he seems to feel that using a membrane will give us more of a chance of them not cracking. I called 4 different tilesetters today from the phone book and asked what they thought....thought since they're here in the area they may have some insight into using or not using the membrane in our particular case. Not one said it was needed; most questioned why they'd use one unless a big fat old earthquake was on it's way! I think our tilesetter is just being precautionary; we've decided to do without the membrane and have him mortor to make the surface smooth and even and then thinset and tile. No difference in the cost on his part but saves us a few bucks on the membrane.

As always thanks much for your help!

Susie
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Unread 09-21-2003, 07:45 PM   #7
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Susie has sent me pictures of the completed job. Here's the before picture.
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Unread 09-21-2003, 07:46 PM   #8
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Re-do of living room fireplace.

Very nice work.
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Unread 09-21-2003, 07:47 PM   #9
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Family room fireplace.
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Unread 09-21-2003, 09:25 PM   #10
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Nice!
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Unread 08-19-2006, 11:27 AM   #11
olive
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Nice work. I wonder if I could do something like that with a stone fireplace. The stones are small and there is a lot of filling in between them.

Thanks,
Olive
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Unread 12-01-2008, 08:43 PM   #12
LCL250
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Wow!

So how exactly would you do this? Do I just go to Lowe's and ask? We have the exactly the same situation, and I LOVE the tile work! What is my best bet?
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Unread 12-01-2008, 08:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Do I just go to Lowe's and ask?
no,
bookmark this site and ask all your tiling questions here.

if you want to learn more about tiling think about
picking up John Bridge's New Tile Setting Book
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